ACRA’s Finalists Fever – #4

Staff Writer

There are thousands of hard-working, dedicated and amazingly creative people throughout the radio industry – and every year a small fraction of those people make the short list as a finalist in the ACRA’s.

Just like we did last year, over the next few weeks, Radio Today will shine a spotlight on the best of the best.

The ACRA's Finalists Fever – counting down the days to the big event on October 18 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us here.

Today the spot light is on:  Murray Ryan from Captial Radio Network, who is up for Best Newcomer On-Air.  Next, Steve Blanda  for Best News Presenter Metro AM with Fairfax Radio Network and  finalist for Best Agency Salesperson is Inge Sallman from Nova Entertainment. 

Let's Roll Out the Red Carpet….



Eagle FM, Goulburn NSW – Capital Radio Network

So give us a wrap of your career so far?

I started at TAFE and Community Radio in Sydney and was fortunate enough to get in AFTRS for 2012. AFTRS really made me who I am today. It is the most stressful learning environment but it prepares you in ways you never expected for the industry. I always wanted to be on air and AFTRS seemed like the best way to achieve that goal.

From there I landed my gig as Announcer and Production Manager at 93.5 Eagle FM. After 18 months in the job here I am.

Tell us about your ACRAs entry?

It feels so weird listening back to this entry, because it feel like so long ago.

I remember trying to find breaks that I had done that showed music passion and personality. I thought that these were my strongest elements on-air. The breaks I chose to use I believed showed the judges these elements and I hoped were different to what other people would send in.

For the record I still take bad selfies. acra murray ryan redone.mp3

Best part of being in the biz?

Being able to connect with listeners is my favorite part of my job. Coming in every day speaking to them on the phone or via social media and listening to what they have to say makes me feel like I'm part of their world and that's+ what I love about radio. 

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

In typical radio style I'll tell you who I would like to thank right after this brand new song from Taylor Swift. If you can hook a room full of people you can hook anyone. 




2UE, Sydney NSW – Fairfax Radio Network M


Where and when did it all start Steve?

Started as an Office Boy at 2GB in1973 – where I first met Brian White.

First on-air role at 2ST Nowra in1973 as a trainee announcer – which progressed to become a Cadet Journalist, producing the presenting the local news.

Moved to 2SM in 1975 – working with White, Steve Liebmann and John Tingle as their "on the road" reporter.

Promoted to read Drive news – then when Liebmann left for television in 1981, took over the breakfast news.

Won my first News Presenter Award in 1981.

Moved to FOX-FM in 1982 as "Current Affairs Director" – presenting Breakfast News and Mid Morning Editorials

Moved to 2WS in 1983 as breakfast presenter. Also covered the Americas Cup Win that year.

Became News Director 1989. Left in 1998 when forced to retrench most of the newsroom under new ARN management.

Joined 2UE  June 1998 – and am still here!!!


Tell us a little about your ACRA’s entry?

I'm proud of this year's entry because it contains the emotion surrounding the death of Nelson Mandela. – news reader – steve blanda.mp3


You can’t make a speech on the night but you can here. So let’s pretend you won…. what would you say ?

I'm honoured to still be recognised by my peers – to know I still "have it" after all these years. 




Nova 96.9, Sydney NSW, Nova Entertainment


Where did it all begin for you?

NOVA Entertainment has been my ‘work home’ for the entirety of my radio career.

I started out in Melbourne as an Agency Sales Coordinator, moved up to Sydney after two years in that role and after 8 months in a Senior Coordinator Role I was promoted to Agency Account Director


Over the last 12 months or so – what are the stand outs for you?

Two campaigns stand out for me… Kia’s ‘Uncomfortable Moments’ Campaign. Led by Fitzy & Wippa and featuring branded content videos of Wippa interviewing Celebrities creating Uncomfortable Moments. This particular activity was quite complex and involved many people within the business contributing to its seamless execution. It lived on-air, online and through social media.

Secondly, News Limited and their Mr. Men Little Miss Book Campaign. Our brief was to encourage consumers to purchase the paper along with a daily Mr Men or Little Miss book. 

The integration that made up this campaign was all about bringing back the art of storytelling and nostalgia, Fitzy reading books to his son Hewie and an ‘always on’ approach across on-air and online that was constantly tapping into the emotions of listeners. 

You know you can't do it on the night, so here is your moment.. your speech.

I would thank Nova for giving me the opportunities I’ve had to grow within the business over the past seven years. As well as the support and guidance I have from notable Management within the company.


Are You an ACRAs Finalist?
If you're a finalist in Metropolitan, Non-Metropolitan, Provincial or Country drop us a line and we'll shine the spotlight on you. Email Blair here.


You can view our other Finalist so far here. and here or here.

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